Monday, May 17, 2010

Little Birds & Vigilant Sleep

Way up in the sky, the little birds fly.
Way down in the nest, the little birds rest.
With a wing on the left, and a wing on the right,
The little birds sleep all through the night.
Shhhhhh, they're sleeping ...
The bright sun comes up!
The dew goes away!
Good morning, good morning, the little birds say.

Thank you Cassandra and Alexander for sharing your bird song/fingerplay that Dad taught you!

I love how this song captures the magical moments of dawn and the important role that birds play in it. Cassandra mentions how much Alexander enjoys the anticipation in the song! Also a fun way to practice opposites: up/down, left/right, quiet/loud. This song also reminds me of an interesting bird fact I learned, that many birds use a form of sleep called "vigilant sleep" in which they have periods of rest with moments of "quick eye-opening peeks" to check for safety.

Then we talk about nests - how they come in different shapes and sizes (use your hand to make these shapes): some are like a little cup, some are like a bowl, some are flat like a plate, some are a mound, and others are a burrow. And some, like the albatross's nest, are simply a scratch on the ground (scrape foot on ground).

All this talk of birds coincides with some pretty interesting bird events in my life...

A mother mourning dove built her nest in my hanging Boston fern and laid two eggs! We've learned some pretty interesting mourning dove facts such as that the mourning dove is the Wisconsin State Symbol of Peace. And that the mother and father take turns keeping the eggs warm. The father usually has the morning shift and the mother takes over in the afternoons. They are dedicated parents and rarely leave the eggs unattended. We are excited when we see the ceremonial changing of the shifts. They have grown so accustom to us, I can even water my plant now without startling them. We will soon have squabs on our front porch!

Also, while we were gone camping a few weeks ago, there were reports of a wild turkey on our roof! The neighbor took a photo of it with its wings outstretched. Spring is a good time to see turkeys because it is mating season. I think it must've been eyeing our many ant hills for its morning "dusting."

And finally, while searching for the smallest eggs I could find in the aviary at the Milwaukee Zoo, I was handed a small, clear case with two tiny finch eggs no bigger than blueberries inside of it! The most beautiful and delicate little things I've ever seen.

The morning after a nice rain, we sit on the porch and watch the robins pluck their worms from our lawn. Exciting free entertainment right outside the door.

Kevin Henkes sure does have it right, BIRDS ARE EVERYWHERE!

photo credit

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